Freedom of the Press: Facts and Figures

< back to Freedom At Issue Blog

Freedom House yesterday released its annual Freedom of the Press report. The findings paint a grim picture of the state of global media freedom, with just 14 percent of the world’s population enjoying a vibrant press with diverse views and minimal state intrusion.

Below are a selection of facts and figures drawn from the report’s findings:

  • Percentage of countries rated Free for 2013: 32
  • Percentage of countries rated Free for 2002: 40.4

     
  • Percent of world’s population living in societies with Free media in 2013: 14
  • Percent of world’s population living in societies with Not Free media in 2013: 44
  • China’s share of those living in Not Free media environments: 43 percent

 

  • China’s global ranking: 183 (Not Free) out of 197
  • Taiwan’s global ranking: 47 (Free) out of 197

 

  • Three highest-ranking countries: Netherlands, Norway, Sweden
  • Three poorest-ranking countries: North Korea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

 

  • Number of regions with declines in average score for 2013: 5 of 6 (sub-Saharan Africa remained the same)

 

  • Percent of population in Eurasia living in Not Free media environments: 97
  • Only countries in Eurasia rated as even Partly Free: Georgia, Moldova

 

  • Number of Middle Eastern countries rated Free: 1 (Israel)
  • Number of Middle Eastern countries rated Partly Free: 4 (Algeria, Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia)
  • Number of Middle Eastern countries with score improvements since the Arab Spring: 5
  • Number of Middle Eastern countries with score declines since the Arab Spring: 8

 

  • Number of pre-2004 EU members ranked as only Partly Free: 2 (Greece, Italy)
  • Lowest-scoring EU members: Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece

 

  • Number of countries in the Americas with Not Free media environments: 5 (Cuba, Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, Mexico)

 

  • Number of countries with significant (3+ points on 100-point scale) score improvements for 2013: 11
  • Number of countries with significant score declines for 2013: 15
  • Number of countries with score improvements for 2013: 44
  • Number of countries with score declines for 2013: 82
  • Number of countries with significant score improvements between 2009 and 2013: 34
  • Number of countries with significant score declines between 2009 and 2013: 55

     
  • Cost of a visa for journalists attempting to enter the Pacific Island of Nauru: $8,000

Analyses and recommendations offered by the authors do not necessarily reflect those of Freedom House.

Share this story